And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures With You

May is Latino Books Month, so I’ll be highlighting something Latin@ books-related every Saturday in May

Photo credit

By Jo Carrillo

Our white sisters
radical friends
love to own pictures of us
sitting at a factory machine
wielding a machete
in our bright bandanas
holding brown yellow black red children
reading books from literacy campaigns
holding machine guns bayonets bombs knives
Our white sisters
radical friends
should think
again.

Our white sisters
radical friends
love to own pictures of us
walking to the fields in the hot sun
with straw hat on head if brown
bandana if black
in bright embroidered shirts
holding brown yellow black red children
reading books from literacy campaigns
smiling.
Our white sisters
should think again.
No one smiles
at the beginning of a day spent
digging for souvenir chunks of uranium
of cleaning up after
our white sisters
radical friends.

And when our white sisters
radical friends see us
in the flesh
not as a picture they own,
they are not quite sure
if
they like us as much.
We’re not as happy as we look
on
their
wall.

“And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures With You,” published in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, 2nd ed., 1983

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4 comments

  1. Melissa

    I read this book ages ago, but there are a few really powerful poems and essays that always stayed with me, and this was one of them. TBCMB is definitely a POC/feminist must-read!

  2. Pingback: The Combahee River Collective | Progressive Pupil

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